From left to right, Sara Flounders, Dr. Sami Al-Arian, Nahla Al-Arian, Lynne Stewart and Abdeen Jabara
Lynne Stewart – A Tribute By Stephen Downs, Esq Lynne Stewart, “the people’s lawyer”, died on March 7, 2017 from cancer. The title of “the people’s lawyer” is quietly given to the lawyer who represents the interests of the poor, the marginalized, and the revolutionaries. Lynne paid a high personal price for her advocacy which refused to concede an inch to the wealthy and powerful, but she earned the respect, and admiration of young lawyers and activists who emulated her as a model in the struggle for freedom. Read more here. Kathy Manley, Esq., NCPCF Legal Committee: “Lynne was one of my main role models, and she will always be an inspiration to me. I am so grateful to have known her, and glad that she was able to spend her last couple years with her loved ones, and to stay in the fight for justice.”
Dr. Sami Al-Arian: During her life and career Lynne Stewart epitomized the true spirit of speaking truth to power, standing up for principles, and championing the cause of justice for those unfortunate enough to unfairly face the awesome power of government overreach. She was a fearless fighter for justice inside and outside the courtroom, as well as a compassionate activist for freedom, dignity, and human rights for all peoples. She was truly the people’s advocate, never wavering in taking courageous stands and setting a shining example for all to respect and emulate.
Members of NCPCF, NE Iowa Peace & Justice Center, and the Decorah Human Rights Commission
NCPCF (3/7): Decorah, Iowa, City Council Passes Resolution of Solidarity with Muslims
On March 7, 2017, the Decorah City Council passed the resolution Friendship Not Fear: Standing in Solidarity with Muslims in our Local Community and the Nation. NCPCF and the Northeast Iowa Peace & Justice Center, working in conjuction with members of the community drafted the resolution. It was endorsed by the Decorah Human Rights Commission, six local religious organizations and over 200 individuals. Since the recent election, proposals for a Muslim travel ban and a Muslim registry have been advanced, and the incidence of hate crimes against Muslims and those perceived to be Muslims has risen dramatically. Residents of Decorah felt is was critical to “pledge to challenge Islamophobia whenever and wherever it occurs, to foster relationships with Muslims based on friendship and not fear, and to serve the common good by maintaining a firm commitment to racial and religious diversity.”
(T)error. Watch a Movie – Meet the Filmmaker. March 15, 6 pm – 9 pm, First United Church of Tampa, 7308 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa, FL. A potluck dinner will begin at 6:00. Following the movie, filmmaker David Sutcliffe will answer your questions.
No Separate Justice Campaign letter writing to political prisoners targeted in the post-9/11 and Trump era. Sunday, March 12, 12:30 – 2:00 PM, Judson Memorial Church, Garden Room. Enter at the door at 239 Thompson Street in Greenwich Village
Website of the Week
Live Free With hundreds of congregations as well as countless leaders and movement partners throughout the country, the LIVE FREE Campaign is working to end the scourges of gun violence, mass incarceration, and the criminalization of Black and Brown bodies that tears at the soul of our society. While they attempt to influence federal and state policies whenever possible, the primary focus is on ensuring that sheriffs, prosecutors, police chiefs, mayors, city council members, and county commissioners are held accountable as allies, and not obstacles, to criminal justice reform.
In a season rife with demonstrations over immigration, pipelines, abortion, women’s rights and more, Republican legislators in at least 16 states have filed bills intended to make protests more orderly or to toughen penalties against ones that go awry. Republicans in two other states, Massachusetts and North Carolina, have said they will file protest-related bills.
Pre-Crime Reports/Pre-emptive Prosecutions/Thought Crimes/Entrapment/Material Support
The New York Times (1/28): How an American Ended Up Accused of Aiding ISIS With Gift Cards The prosecution of Nick Young, the only law enforcement officer among more than 100 Americans who have been accused of helping the Islamic State, offers a revealing look at the F.B.I.’s shadowy cat-and-mouse efforts to identify possible Islamic extremists. He is charged with providing “material support” to the Islamic State, in the form of $245 worth of Google Play gift cards. The authorities say he gave the gift cards to a Muslim friend named Mo — in reality, an undercover informant — to support recruitment for the terrorist group. Mr. Young’s lawyer claims that the F.B.I. entrapped him, with undercover operatives popping in and out of his life for at least six years.
Reuters (3/2): U.S. judge orders Florida nightclub shooter’s widow to remain in jail The widow of the gunman who killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Florida must remain in jail after prosecutors argued that she was a threat to the community and a flight risk, a U.S. judge on Thursday ordered. The federal judge in Florida stayed another judge’s order issued on Wednesday that would have released Noor Salman, 30, from a California jail. He put the release order on hold pending further arguments in the case.
Southern Poverty Law Center (3/1):Disgraced Ex-FBI Agent John Guandolo to Train Louisiana Law Enforcement Next Week John Guandolo — a disgraced ex-FBI agent turned anti-Muslim activist — will be in Rapides Parish, Louisiana next week, to train law enforcement. Guandolo, who runs a “strategic and operational training & consulting” group named Understanding the Threat, travels the country ostensibly teaching LEOs at every level of government how to seek out terrorist cells in their area. Guandolo’s trainings instead serve as anti-Muslim witch-hunts, often times targeting and vilifying local Muslim leaders.
Islamophobia and Civil Rights
Alternet (3/3): Muslims Are Literally Asked If They ‘Beat Their Wives’ Before They Can Meet GOP Lawmaker The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) of Oklahoma organized its annual Muslim Day at the Capitol to offer Muslim communities across the state an opportunity to meet with elected officials. However, one Republican representative, Rep. John Bennett, was unwilling to meet with constituents unless they filled out a questionnaire. One of the questions was “The Koran, the sunna of Mohammed and Sharia Law of all schools say that the husband can beat his wife. Do you beat your wife?”
Reuters (3/6): Trump signs new travel ban order, Iraq left off The new order, which the White House said Trump had signed, will keep a 90-day ban on travel to the United States by citizens of six Muslim-majority nations – Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders had said earlier on Monday that the new order would take effect on March 16. Tens of thousands of legal permanent residents in the United States – or green card holders – from the listed countries would not be affected by the travel ban. Refugees who are “in transit” and already have been approved would be able to travel to the United States.
Community Action/Building Our Coalition
Associated Press (3/5): Muslim Group Urges District Attorney to Cancel Training A Muslim civil rights group is urging a Louisiana district attorney to cancel a training seminar on investigating “jihadi operations” in the U.S., calling it biased and a misuse of taxpayer money. The Council on American-Islamic Relations said a group founded by former FBI agent John Guandolo is offering the training. CAIR’s letter calls Guandolo a “notorious Islamophobe and anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist.”
Decorah Newspaper (3/8): Decorah Council adopts Friendship Not Fear statement The Decorah City Council has adopted a statement in support of Muslims in the community and the nation. At Monday’s meeting, the Council voted 6-1 to support a statement sponsored by the Northeast Iowa Peace and Justice Center (NEIPJC) and the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms. The statement has been endorsed by the Decorah Human Rights Commission, Northeast Iowa Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Ryomonji Zen Monastery, Good Shepherd Congregation Council, First United Methodist Church, Grace Episcopal Church and more than 100 individuals.
Boston Review (2/27): Islam on Trial These essays highlight the public silences and racialized assumptions that constitute some of the devastating legacies of 9/11 in law and culture. They show us the dangerous paradigms that have built and nourished anti-Muslim policy and law enforcement. Taken together, they reveal six key misapprehensions—even more dangerous now under a Trump presidency —that we must understand and challenge if we do not wish to see a world defined by bans and registrations.
Scholarly Islam (3/2): How Violent are Muslims? The Numbers Reveal a Disturbing Truth Today there are almost 1.7 billion Muslims in the world, making up a fifth of the world’s population. Are Muslims a violent people by nature and a threat to world peace? The best way to answer the question is to calculate the numbers from credible sources – experts, Pew, Gallup, and academic studies.
Engy Abdelkader in Penn Law: The Muslim Ban, Anti-Sharia Bills, and the Muslim Brotherhood’s Secret Plan A recent 2017 report from Duke University’s Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security notes that while those self-identifying as Muslims have taken 123 American lives over the course of the past fifteen years, more than 230,000 Americans were murdered in the same period. Moreover, in 2016, 188 Americans were killed in mass shootings. Indeed, the de facto Muslim ban, anti-Sharia bills, and the new legislation seeking to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization are not actually about protecting us from terrorism. It’s about Islamophobia.
NCPCF Mission Established in October 2010, the NCPCF is a coalition of national and local organizations as well as prominent individuals, whose mission is: To educate the public about the erosion of civil and political freedoms in the society, and the abuses of prisoners within the U.S. criminal justice system especially after 9/11, and to advocate for the preservation of those freedoms and to defend those rights according to the U.S. Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its related UN Conventions, and the Geneva Conventions.
___________________________________________________ Member Organizations American Muslim Alliance (AMA) – Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC) – Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) – Committee to Stop FBI Repression (CSFR) – Creating Law Enforcement Accountability and Responsibility (CLEAR) – Defending Dissent Foundation (DDF) – Desis, Rising Up and Moving (DRUM) – Friends of HumaIssuen Rights (FHR) – International Action Center (IAC) – Islamic Circle of North America Council for Social Justice (ICNA-CSJ) -Muslim Civil Liberties Union (MCLU) – Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA) – National Lawyers Guild (NLG) – National Liberty Fund (NLF) – The Peace Thru Justice Foundation (PTJF) – Project Support and Legal Advocacy for Muslims (Project SALAM) – United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) – Universal Justice Foundation (UJF).